Jeff Mills: Dark City soundtrack
An original story – and soundtrack – by Jeff Mills
“It is the year 1973. Located in a parallel universe is a planet that resembles earth, but is 300 years more technically advanced. Like earth, its natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate – and to save most of the inhabitants, a mass exodus is organised to all neighbouring planets. The process is nearly completed. But some inhabitants – ‘stayers’ – chose not to vacate the planet. Instead, they believe a theory that the exodus is a huge conspiracy to recondition the planet and sell it to the highest bidder.
R-4552 is an extraction specialist sent to Dark City to find an elusive ‘stayer’. He stumbles across a trove of secret documents in a briefcase belonging to her. Researching the contents, he finds a link to the Reynolds Corporation, or R Corp. R-4552 travels to Shantoi Province in search of the so-called designer of Dark City. The designer explains the objective, intention, and the theory behind the creation of an illusionary application called ‘Darkness’, meant to alter visual perception. The designer warns R-4552 that Dark City has been taken over, and is controlled by a collection of business interests better known as The Web. R-4552 discovers the name of The Web’s primary officer. Pursued by a mysterious woman, on his way to back to Dark City R-4552 is isolated by a strange weapon and transported to another time and space.”
Photos by: Jacob Khrist
Deeply inhabited by science-fiction, DJ, producer and artist Jeff Mills adopts its ideas, concepts, stories and esthetics from the outset. For him, Space is an obsession and his music almost becomes a musical science-fiction. Conquering space, his music embodies the future while both respecting the past and remaining well into the present. When he founded his own record label Axis in 1992 -a logo consisting of four triangles pointing to an invisible center-, Mills takes the rotating principle of the solar system as aesthetics, concept and model for creativity. From the beginning, his first releases explore futuristic and science fiction topics such as “Mutant theory,” “Tomorrow,” “Art / UFO”, “Time Machine” and “Alpha Centauri”. For Jeff Mills, the future is a powerful creative drive which explains the artist’s ceaseless activity.
The 2000s, a turning point in Mills’s artistic career.
Jeff Mills has never wallowed in his DJ status and kept on multiplying outstanding performances. When creating Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” soundtrack in 2000, Jeff Mills takes up with his prime inspiration made of utopia, futuristic thought and a real passion for the extraordinary worlds and scenarios offered by science-fiction. He is the master of extraordinary scenarios and borrows from science fiction the common man’s notion of Tomorrow (redite). In 2001, he conceives “Mono“, a monolithic sculpture and installation inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey” which was exhibited at the CCCB Museum during Sonar Festival in Barcelona.
Mills keeps on fusing his love for music and image. Reframing his extraordinary DJing skills in 2004 when he released “The Exhibitionist”, a real-time, unedited films capturing Mills in creative DJ motions. A multi-angle filmed collection of DJ sets, allowing him to both approach video production, while beautifully complimenting his art form on the turntables. In 2005, he released AX039 “Expanded“ with the consciousness of creating for Future generations, as oppose to creating for now. Expanding his mind became more important than the Music production itself and he took a strong interest in things that would provoke and question his thoughts about The Future. Science-fiction being one of them.
“Sleeper Wakes“ – a science fiction series.
The Wizard likes to take his inspiration from the little music of the cosmos and keeps his head well ahead, in the stars. Since 2006 Jeff Mills created and wrote a story of life and obscure times of a fictional character that would eventually be called The Sleeper. With each chapter of the evolving story, the character gets increasingly deeper into plots that have so far, traveled the universe in search of new Worlds (“Sleeper Wakes“), contracted an unknown virus resulting into controlling electricity (“The Power“), to the end of Humans (“The Messenger“) and the eternal search of purpose and meaning (“The Jungle Planet“). In 2013 Jeff Mills has collaborated with Japanese astronaut Dr. Mamoru Mohri and released the album “Where Light Ends“, inspired by Mohri’s first trip into space, aboard the Endeavour Space Shuttle in 1992. The “Emerging Crystal Universe“, released in September 2014 as a limited object of art is the 8th chapter of this series and the 9th chapter “Free Fall“, announcing a cosmic menace, is out in June 2016. To be continued.
After “Metropolis“ soundtrack as mentioned above, Jeff Mills was involved in numerous projects of film soundtracks collaborating with Cinémathèque Française and Cité de la Musique in Paris which included his unique cine-mixes performances of “Cheat” (Cecil B. DeMille), “October” (Sergei Eisenstein), “Fantastic Voyage” (Richard Fleischer), “Etudes sur Paris” (André Sauvage) and “Woman In The Moon” (Fritz Lang).
“Space is our destiny so let the punishment begin”.
In 2009 Jeff Mills presents “The Trip” in London. With his science-fiction fascination Jeff Mills pursues his work on images started in 2000, and offers a sound and image mix, inviting the audience to a fully sensorial experience. “The Trip” explores the subject of how humans will endure the mental and physical constraints of traveling through Outer Space in order to discover the Unknown. Mixing live more than fifty of science-fiction movie extracts (from 1920′s to 1970′s), following the same principles as DJing, Jeff Mills invited the audience to enter a pulsating atmosphere of the abnormal… Psychedelic meets electronic.
During Autumn 2013, Jeff Mills presents his first solo show as an contemporary artist entitled “Centrifugal Force” at La Passerelle Saint-Brieuc, where he develops the concept of infinite spiral motion through various sound and visual installations. In the meantime, he presents “Chronicles of Possible Worlds” at the prestigious Foundation Vasarely, a 7 hour performance based on the exploration of exoplanets, in collaboration with the laboratory of astrophysics of Marseille.
Time Tunnel experience
“Time Tunnel” is an all-night long DJ set with special surprises and attractions. Based of the American science-fiction TV show “The Time Tunnel” (produced by Irwin Allen in the ’60s), Jeff Mills creates a sound, visual and performance odyssey that pulls the dancing audience back and forth in time through a simulated visual Time Machine to explore the past, present and future of Music. Time Tunnel has visited several cities such as Paris, Nantes and Strasbourg. The last performance of “Time Tunnel” happened in Amsterdam on October 2015 during ADE Festival.
In 2014, Jeff Mills has partnered with the French filmmaker Jacqueline Caux to create “Man From Tomorrow“. This film is more a portrait of Jeff Mill’s music than the man himself. A wandering, poetic and sensitive portrait, graphic and musical, full of film-maker Jacqueline Caux’s intimate perception of the futuristic sounds of the DJ/producer. Le Louvre Museum invites the Premiere showing of “Man from Tomorrow”.
The Louvre Museum residency
Thereafter, he is commissioned by the Auditorium of Le Louvre to be the 9th resident artist of “Duos Ephémères” for the year 2015, a program of 4 different shows mixing music, film and dance. At the same time, Mills works closely with the choreographer Michel Abdoul on an original performance entitled “2001: The Midnight Zone” paying again tribute to Kubrick’s masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey”, shown at la Cité de la Musique in May 2015.
Jeff Mills has collaborated with symphonic orchestras since many years and was the first DJ to perform and capture it on DVD for a wider audience. It all began with the Montpellier National Orchestra in 2005 at Le Pont du Gard, France. The piece was called “Blue Potential” and had been arranged for orchestra by the young French composer Thomas Roussel. In 2012, Jeff Mills played a new version of this orchestral project, now called “Light from the Outside World”. Several concerts are scheduled over the world in the following years. In 2013, Jeff Mills presented a new piece called “Where Light Ends”. A third project, inspired by Holst’ “The Planets” premiered in 2015. All these performances have always been sold-out shows. This shows the techno fans have been waiting for such opportunities, besides that fact classical audience can find new music.
1992 Axis Records was conceived and officially registered as a solely owned business in New York City by Jeff Mills.
1993 Opens an additional office in Detroit, Michigan
1994 Re-locates New York office to Chicago, Illinois and closes Detroit office.
Wanting to expand Axis, Mills explores various other type of labels, such as Running Records, Luxury Records, but finally decides to call his first sub-label Purpose Maker. Then, he creates a label based for all his forthcoming future works simply entitled “Tomorrow”. He also began to explore different methods of releasing material through other sources such as exclusive licensing to other record labels, records shops and distributors in Europe.
Axis Merchandise line was created, consisting of T-shirts and other DJ, Techno Music oriented items.
Jeff Mills positions the label to expand in various directions in Dance Music resulting in numerous sub-labels such as Purpose Maker, Tomorrow, Something In The Sky and Mission 6277, a label dedicated to works other producers and artist.
1995 Axis creates first website and introduces various features such as the Electronic Directory, the Axis Discussion and the Axis Shop.
1996 Launch of Purpose Maker Label.
1998 Axis begins to conduct and orchestrate external pop-up shops in Barcelona, London and Tokyo. Axis expands their merchandise line.
1999 Launch of Tomorrow Label.
2001 Axis Records registered as a Limited Liability Corporation.
2003 Launch of Mission 6277 to develop young talents. The label was designed to continue until the evidence of water is found on Mars and now the Mission has concluded.
2006 Axis Records acquires commercial property and opens retail clothing shop entitled Gamma Player in Chicago’s west side Wicker Park.
2007 Expecting a significant shift in the industry due to the digital file format, Axis focuses on providing more conceptual products such the Sleeper Wakes series, X-102 The Rings Of Saturn and many other science fiction and space oriented works.
2009 Axis closes Gamma Player retail shop and focuses on expanding Axis Records and moves to Chicago downtown offices.
Launch of Something In The Sky (SITS) label focusing on the concept of UFO sightings. Sublabel Taken is launched in 2012.
2012 Axis celebrates their 20th year anniversary with a book and CD set entitled “Sequence”.
2014 Co-producing the first featured film entitled “Man From Tomorrow” directed by Jacqueline Caux.
2016 Launch of Axis Audiophile Series to pursue hi-quality sound for vinyl records.
2017 Axis Records celebrates its 25th anniversary with a book and CD set entitled “T-Minus And Counting” and introduces a new website and radio program entitled “The Outer Limits” hosted by DJ Moxie.
Re-locates to Miami, Florida
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